BE STILL...and SEE Photography

Reflecting on who I am...what is important to me...and the gifts I offer the world, I have reorganized this PhotoSchmoozer blog into separate pages for your viewing. I am about so much...people - relationships - drums and rhythms and especially photography...and I realize that although separate, they are all so INTEGRATED into the Whole of who I am!! It's a very peaceful thought and I am thankful for the intuitive gift to see the connections and the relationships. Enjoy the journey through the blog...and WELCOME.
Contemplative photography is about being totally present and seeing exactly what is before you, without filters or judgment. It is about seeing with your heart.Doesn't everyone see what is before them? Not really. You may see a candle on a table. Do you also see the shadows it creates? Or the reflections that the light casts on it? Or it's underlying shape and form?

DRUMS, Rhythms and Relationships

Monday, February 28, 2011

Meet the Baby Drums!!!

Every time I complete one of these, I feel like I have given birth to a new child!  When I got asked to the Parents as Teachers Fatherhood Celebration, I decided that I needed Baby Drums because I had this vision that I would be sitting on the floor drumming with Mom/Dad and very young child.  Very quickly one learns to change expectations and go with what is.  If can be a total stress!!  So go with the flow - my message for today.
Last night, Bill and I were talking about creativity.  A friend had shared that "everything I do is creative".  I know that I like to have fun and come up with unique ideas, but to me, well, that is 'just me'.  He asked if anyone could make these drums?  Hmmmm in one form or another - probably not like mine look because these express who I am - bright and colorful!  It's like making quilts or painting picures or creating food.  We are who we are and the challenge of that is to ACCEPT who we are and the gifts that we bring to the world.  I find that there are days and/or times of day when living in self-acceptance is more of a struggle than other times.  Having spent a lot of years growing up and in work situations being told I am too exuberant, loud or ??? can play havoc with those feelings as well.  Every day I come to value and appreciate who I am and what I have to offer the world!!  Today, I share the collage (Number 200!! ) of my latest creations and sit and look at it with contentment.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

In the Beginning...They Are Ready!!

Yesterday, was an exciting day!  The Sussex County Parents as Teachers program was having a Fatherhood Celebration at the West Seaford Elementary School and invited me to come with all of my spectacular, fun drums!  I decided that we could do a number of sessions - 3 or maybe four (silly me!!)  We  set up the art room to accommodate 25 people.  My plan was one parent and one child.  When the first parent walked in with two children, soon followed by a mom with FOUR, well, didn't I quickly have to adjust and that we did!!  We did three groups and although each one was different as it should be with a group of unique individuals, the one constant was the drumming and the FUN!!!
My intention was to gather lots of pictures to share - photo ops for web-site and blog.  See the picture at the top of this blog??  That was it!  After that, the camera shut down and I tried the other sets of batteries I had brought - all dead!!  I think I clearly had a message that I was to focus on the families and the drumming and NOT the photo taking.  Honestly how could I do both at once. 
What I didn't realize is that the school's principal, Dr. Todd Fishburn, was in the last group and sitting right next to me with his daughter.  There were other guys in the room that I wondered about...what would they think...would they participate?!  A few stood in the background and I told them that to stay in the room, they had to join in and have fun.  THEY DID - either to be polite or...
Thanks to Anna Scovell, Program Supervisor and her outstanding staff for inviting me and for organizing such a totally amazing day!!  As I watched their interactions with one another and with the families, I could easily see why the program is such a success.  It begins with Anna's love and compassion for her staff and spreads and spreads and spreads.  Showed me how people love to be recognized, affirmed and most importantly laugh and have fun!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Honoring Friendships!! Original Art Creation.

A BIG box on our front porch and it is nothing we ordered?!?  What could it be?  Oh my - it says that it came from Susan Joy Fox Hirschmann, my long time growing up friend who is a creative artist/potter who loves to create and play in clay.  Open it!!  Open it!!  Don't we all love surprises?  This picture is what appeared to my wondering eyes - a unique creative work in clay and paper that celebrates 60 years of connections, friendships and life!!  It was to be ready for my Birthday Bash, but it took time in the creation.  The real beauty of this creation is the creative thought process, the time and the love that went into making this gift.  The gift is just the end result that will live into perpetuity to honor the person/s and the process.
Life everyday is filled with new people, gifts of presents and the Precious Present and the joy of possibilities.  No need to say anything more?!?!?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Organic Yellow Beets - Serendipity Stories

 OK...Here's the story of the luscious organic yellow beets.  First comes the regularly scheduled Yoga class - and by the way, don't let anyone tell you that Yoga is easy!!  It's a lot of work - my aisde and I am sore today!!  After class, Karen and I went to the Bus Stop Music Cafe for a bowl of soup - coconut curry chicken today.  We talked and Cory and Jim were deep in conversation with a young woman.  Later Cory shared that Pitman is going to have a Farmer's market starting in May - YEAH for the energy for the town!!  After that we started talking about CSAs and organic food.  "Have you been to the new Natural Foods Market in Mullica Hill," he asked.  No, but I am going out that way today and will check it out.  It's a small store filled to the brim with vegan, gluten free and other healthy choices.  Some of the products were new to me; many were not.  I  would recommend that if you are in the area, you go in and check out her products.  She even carries Brad's raw organic chips - my friend Lois demonstrates them at the Whole Foods in Princeton, NJ and I first tasted them just a few days ago.  Then we started talking about vegetables.  Danelle shared that she had been to a cooking class the previous weekend (of course, it was Christina Pirello's in Philadelphia - where Lois and I met at the 3 day food intensive - see Kevin Bacon is so right with all of the degrees of connections!)  She learned that only 17% of people eat vegetables - aside from considering potatoes their vegetable of choice.  She was pushing organic pears and golden beets.  I chose the beets.  My what a fantastic choice!!  I'm sharing them after they were steams and before we ate them.  So sweet.  So wonderful...So beautiful.  Eat your vegetables friends!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Choices! Control! Personal Power~!~~~~

It's been several years since I visited Albany, NY and my friend Susan yet as I was looking for one of my photos to bring to light what I am thinking, this came forward.  See, life is about choices, control and personal power.  It is also about making those choices and then living with them - and about being gentle and forgiving to yourself when the choices might not be the best for healthy nutrition and feeling at the top of your game.  Why this?  Why now?  Lois is my friend and we share diet, nutrition, and healthy eating.  We are reading how food affects the brain and the body and how it all makes us feel.  We are in daily contact about our choices.  Yesterday she shared the wonderful pizza that Whole Foods makes - her choice.  I shared back that we were invited out for dinner last night and I had a clear idea of what was to be served.  Right I was - stuffed shells with sauce, garlic bread, salad and Carvel ice cream cake.  To be "polite" , I ate it all and to be honest, it tasted great!  So what's the big deal.  This morning I woke up with an achy body and swollen hands.  I know what suits my body, mind and spirit best yet last night, I made choices!!  Now today I have the first day of the rest of my life - and yes, I HAVE PERSONAL POWER, CONTROL AND CHOICES!!  I cannot undo what was, but I can take charge of what is and I am truly close to coming to acceptance for those words I just wrote.  I can take charge and I have choices!!  It's time for the fresh lemon and warm water and even that is a part of the collage I took in Albany - all of life's choices are there!!  Live!!! 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Light Up My Life. Lighten Up My Spirit!!

Every day I wish to wake up with JOY and awake and aware and excited about the possibilities to come for the day.  Lately I have not been having that experience.  Instead I wake up with a sadness in my heart and it just doesn't feel right.  Today was different - YEAH!!  My usual style is to analyze WHY?? is that so...or what is making that happen.  Today the feeling just IS and light and wonderful.  Lois gifted me with a bracelet yestertay - one of those stretchy ones with a saying - "Think a better feeling thought."  I slept with it and definitely woke with its impact.  Then I decided to go and find Grandmother Moon since she is the gift of the full moon tonight.  Not visible with the overcast skies BUT for just a few minutes while I was outside looking, I saw the sun just perfectly shining on the big trees across the way and knew that my feelings of joy were real and I was being gifted.  See, it is a short time later and it is pretty dreary today.  I captured the moment and received the gift of the Precious Present - wasn't the one I was looking for, but I was open to whatever the Universe had to share!!  Now tonight we do our full moon drumming and who knows what unique individuals will come forth to join us at maryi's farm.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Outstandingly Perfect Pizza!!

Totally outstanding.  I can't say it enough.  It's coming to the point that it is a challenge to go out to find a restaurant that can offer meals like we can make at home!!  They aren't necessarily gourmet with fancy sauces, but then again, we don't like that anyhow.  They are good food - food that is in season - food that tastes good - and food that we like!  What more could be ask for.  Today I met my friend Lois at the Whole Foods in Princeton.  It is one of our favorite meeting places - Whole Foods either here or in Marlton.  We ate such a totally healthy lunch - black quinoa and cabbage; brown rice and French lentils; other veggies and some fruit for Lois.  Then we began to wander and explore and today we found treasures!!  We have been exploring how it feels when we eat wheat and the gluten too that comes as a part of the product.  Then we decided to go exploring to find out what we could discover that is gluten free.  They are getting more products all of the time.  One that I especially discovered was gluten free pizza crust mix by Namaste. One package made two pizzas of at least 14".  There was only one package left, so you know how I feel about synchronicity - it was meant to be for me.  I bought roasted tomatoes and knew everything else was at home.  We added aspargus, goat cheese and mushrooms to accompany the crust.  We thought that the crust tasted rather like mochi - not coincidental when you see that the first ingredient in the crust is brown rice flour.  Followed the directions except that our pizza pan was only 12" and the directions said no smaller than 14" so we decided to make it rectangular.  Made it we did and enjoyed it so much!  Have to continue going there and just exploring to find the products that have the potential to make our lives really terrific!!    Sharing a picture of the pizza and we stil have half left for tomorrow!!!

I Will Cross That Bridge When I Come to It!!

I woke up this morning ready once again to greet the Precious Present and wondering about the Possibilities that will come with it!!  Then I thought about "Crossing the Bridge When You Come to It".  I can see the bridge...and beyond it, I know I see Robert Frost's "Road Less Travelled".  I can feel Spring and Changes and Challenges in my bones and it is invigorating, enlivening and just oh my...My thinking is about life...and the sparks that bring JOY!!  When I had my 65th Birthday party a few months back, it was all about Wild Wacky Wonderful Women and not pretending to be normal.  Now as I have been building relationships with a small group of friends, I realize that they/we are all of a like mind...and I would describe us as UNIQUE INDIVIDUALS.  This realization comes with BELIEF and ACCEPTANCE of me...and of them.  Several others just don't bring a spark of interest to my heart, so as I age, I come to realize that MY TIME belongs to ME...and how I choose to spend it is my own determination!  Hey!! Hey!!! Hey!!! Watch out world - here we come drumming our individual Rhythms and building them into Relationships that work!!!
Hey!! Hey!! Hey!!  And who said that anyway?  Somehow I am thinking of George on Seinfeld but now I am thinking that it is from an older time...Help Me?!?!?!?  How about Bill Cosby and Fat Albert?  I just don't know...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Meet My Special "Family"!!

I have always been a person who loves to read and assimilate learning and knowledge.  In the past months, I am discovering that my satisfaction comes more from action and creating.  Since the Remo HealthRHYTHMS workshop in September when I had conversations with Roy about making drums, the world opened up in a different way.  See above!  First I bought a bunch of drums - frames, djembes, tubanos and more rhythmic instruments.  Then Roy said, "Did you ever make drums with sonotubes?"  What did he mean?  Well, we found some You Tube videos and written materials and took off - okay, maybe we flew for awhile and now we - and I do say we in every sense of the word because Bill is my drum making buddy - and are the proud producers of SIXTEEN - in numberals 16 - drums.  See them above and also in a photo album on my Facebook page.  And guess what - we haven't finished yet!!  My friend Annee invited me to a Fatherhood celebration and I got the idea to make 'Baby drums" and beaters to go with them!!  Oh what fun!!!  Pretty soon i will have them all posted on the blog - bet you can't wait.  My point in sharing this?  I have said that I will do what brings SPARK to me and making these drums is just that.   I am learning my priorities and choosing what i want to do with my time and who I choose to spend my time with.  It's about Letting Go and that is a challenge without a doubt - hey Oprah and I seem to come up with the same themes and eliminating all kinds of clutter is what she is discovering and sharinig this month.  ME TOO!!  I have always said that Oprah uses my words - and yet again, there is evidence!!  Yeah for both of us!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Friend MaryAnne and I went to the University of Pennsylvania Museum for the Lunar Celebration.  NO, the ribbons and beaters were not there but the quote at the top of this post was there - and the fascinating thing was that the exhibit kept changing the words so that they were presented in four languages.  I thought back to the simple pleasures that bring me joy - that's what I talk about a lot here...and to the other afternoon as I was making the beaters to go with the Baby Drums!  I found such joy and pleasure in the pieces of ribbon I was trimming off but especially in the way the sunlight was coming in the back window and lighting up the table!!  I sat and watched and had to go and get the camera - sunlight can often make everything wonderous and I share.  Then I sat and looked at the myraid of colors for the beaters and decided that there was a photo op for them with the ribbon pieces - so here you are.  The only step left is to cover the drums with the matching fabric and then take them out in a few weeks and use them with families in southern Delaware.  I know that the day will be exciting - last year they had about 85 families attend - this year they tell me they are expecting 400!!  What's a girl to do??  We will figure it out and I know that as long as we relax into it and take along our humor, it will be special!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Together in Manhattan - Happy New Year of the Rabbit!!!

Adventures in Manhattan!

It was a grey and cloudy day - hell no, it was icy cold and raining!!  It all began with an email a week earlier, then a posting on facebook about Jon's coming to NYC for 9 days for work!  OMG!  He didn't know if he would have time to come  'home' so we decided that we had to go spend the weekend with him.   No matter the weather - no matter the ice, rain, slush -no matter that it was New York City -  our boy was going to be a few hours away and NOTHING would stop our going to spend time with him.  Not to auspiciously, there could have been something that stopped us - like a big fall on the ice for PhotoSchmoozer right at the bottom of our steps.  I just laid there and screamed out loud - NO WAY - pain go away - nothing is going to stop us!  And nothing did.  We journeyed to find the NJ Transit station at Hamilton (thanks friend Mimi) and were totally overwhelmed by the cost.  It looked like $15 for each of us each way - so $60 total.  Then we looked closer and discovered that age has privilege - the round trip cost us $27 as senior citizens!!!  Once I figured out the ticket machine, we were on our way.  Won't go into all of the details except to say that we packed a LOT of NYC, cab rides and food into our time together.  This picture is in Times Square - typical tourist right!  Have you ever seen a giant M & M Store or the Toys R Us Flagship store?!  Overwhelm with lights and people.  One comment from Jon - he knows he prefers Tokyo to NYC - they are both some of the largest cities in the world, but there is a difference in the Japanese temperament- and he was more than ready to go home!!  For us - lots of gratitude for the person who is our son - gratitude for our energy to travel to spend the weekend - gratitude for the love and caring that we share.  Gratitude - such a wonderful feeling!
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